Temporal range: Early Jurassic, Pliensbachian
Sertich & Loewen, 2010
Sertich & Loewen, 2010
Seitaad is known from an articulated partial postcranial holotype skeleton referred to as UMNH VP 18040. The skeleton is missing its head, neck and tail. It was collected from the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, the uppermost unit of the Glen Canyon Group, dating to the Pliensbachian stage, near Comb Ridge, San Juan County. A phylogenetic study of Seitaad found it to be a plateosaur sauropodomorph, placing it in Massospondylidae or alternatively (a less probable position) in Plateosauridae, but its placement within the Plateosauria is not well understood. In a cladistic analysis, presented by Apaldetti and colleagues in November 2011, Seitaad was found to be within Massopoda, just outside Anchisauria.
Seitaad was first described by Joseph J. W. Sertich and Mark A. Loewen in 2010 and the type species is Seitaad ruessi. The generic name is derived from Séít‘áád (Navajo language), a mythological sand monster from the Diné folklore who buried its victims in dunes. Seitaad appears to have been entombed by the collapse of a sand dune. The specific name honours Everett Ruess, a young artist, poet and naturalist, who mysteriously disappeared in 1934 while exploring southern Utah. Seitaad is the second basal sauropodomorph dinosaur to have been identified in North America.
- Joseph J. W. Sertich and Mark A. Loewen (2010). Laudet, Vincent, ed. "A New Basal Sauropodomorph Dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of Southern Utah". PLoS ONE. 5 (3): e9789. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009789. PMC . PMID 20352090.
- Cecilia Apaldetti, Ricardo N. Martinez, Oscar A. Alcober and Diego Pol (2011). Claessens, Leon, ed. "A New Basal Sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from Quebrada del Barro Formation (Marayes-El Carrizal Basin), Northwestern Argentina". PLoS ONE. 6 (11): e26964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026964. PMC . PMID 22096511.
- Timothy B. Rowe, Hans-Dieter Sues and Robert R. Reisz (2011). "Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 278 (1708): 1044–1053. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1867. PMC . PMID 20926438.
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